W. Joe DeMiero, who started his career at Publicis in 2013 as VP of agency Razorfish, this year was named U.S. CEO at UM, which operates in more than 100 markets.
How W. Joe DeMiero is changing UM's culture
DeMiero, 39, said he wanted to reimagine what an agency “can and should be” and is trying to create a culture “where people feel supported, feel safe, feel welcome and able to be who they are fully without fear of retribution to express themselves fully.”
DeMiero has worked with big brands such as Google, AT&T, USAA and Capital One during his career. In 2016 he founded TiltShift, Publicis' immersive reality experience factory, and in 2010, he co-founded CloudTix, the world’s first cloud-based mobile ticketing platform.
Since he started, DeMiero has implemented off-hours, a companywide restriction on evening and weekend emails and meetings and launched new initiatives such as the first UM census.
“I am like a kid in a candy shop,” DeMiero said, adding that he loves his new job because “every day you’re learning something. It is an opportunity to be challenged, surrounded by a team that is genuinely committed to doing the right thing.”
Since being named U.S. CEO in January, DeMiero has helped drive 10 business wins for the agency, including Grubhub, Upwork and Eargo, and organic growth with existing clients including BMW, USPS and CVS-Aetna.
If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
My dad. He suffered a stroke two years ago, and as his cognition declines, I miss his advice, his bad jokes, his random phone calls to check in, and the music he composed and performed (he was a jazz musician and music teacher).
What are the top two social media sites you use on a regular basis?
My wife and I have a 4-year-old son who likes to dress up in costumes, which get posted as #CostumeOfTheDay on Instagram. And one of the things that gets him hysterically laughing is when we play with Snapchat filters together.
What's currently on your bedside reading list?
“Effortless” by Greg McKeown, who also wrote “Essentialism,” which was a game-changer for me. This follow-up is about preventing burnout.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
“Severance.” (But don’t tell my wife I watched it without her … we were supposed to watch it together. Oops!)
At what age do you hope to retire?
Never. Honestly, I can’t imagine a time when I’ll want to stop learning and doing everything I can to help the next generation of leaders. I aspire to this proverb my best friend recently reminded me of: “Great leaders plant trees whose shade they know they’ll never sit in.”
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